I’ve had a great response to my call for scary stories and have some links to share with you.
Diane Dickson has a story called Cry of the Owl that can be found on her blog, Diane Dickson’s Story Site . If you want to read more of her scary stories, wander through her site. She recently posted her serial, The Grave and has other stories published that qualify as scary – Who Follows and Making Angels which can be found on Amazon.
Lindsey Leggitt has posted an excerpt from her story Slate that can be found on her blog, Burning Tree
In the meantime, here is a warm-up to the month – an excerpt from one of my ghost stories for kids called Take a Picture, It Lasts Longer, but first a little background.
The Jacksons have just moved into an older home. Thirteen-year old Kirsten resents the fact that they had to move away from her old neighbourhood and it doesn’t help that the cute boy from across the street tells her that the previous family had all been murdered. While exploring the new home, her younger sister Amy finds an old video camera hidden in the wall and that’s where we pick up with the family saga:
Next morning, when the real estate agent arrived on their doorstep, her father handed over the camera case, explaining how they had discovered it.
“Thought you could get this to the owners,” he said.
“Actually, that’s going to be a little impossible,” the woman said, shifting uncomfortably.
“What do you mean?” their father asked.
“Well . . . you see . . .” The woman cleared her voice. “The previous owners are . . . how shall I put this? Way out of town.”
“You mean dead!” Kirsten blurted out.
The woman flashed frightened eyes at her.
“Well . . . yes,” she admitted.
“Why didn’t you tell us before!” their father demanded.
“It’s just that . . . I’ve been having so much trouble getting rid of the property. Whenever people found out about the murders, they got scared and were no longer interested.”
“Didn’t you think we’d find out sooner or later?” their father asked.
“I hoped, by that time, you’d have fallen in love with the house and wouldn’t care about what happened. As for the camera, you might as well keep it.”
“I don’t feel right about that,” their mother said.
“Call it a bonus for buying the house,” the agent replied. “After all, the family doesn’t need it anymore.”
Their mother hesitated a moment.
“Please, Mom,” Amy begged. “Maybe we could come up with something to send to ‘Funniest Home Videos’. Please can we keep it?”
“I suppose, as long as you’re sure no one will be looking for it.”
“Absolutely sure,” the agent said. “Happy filming and enjoy the house. Please don’t let the tragedy spoil your new life here.”
“All right, then,” their father said finally.
“In the meantime,” the agent said. “There’s just a bit more paper work to finish.”
“While you’re busy, can I try the camera, Dad?” Amy asked. “Please?”
“Okay. Just be careful with it.”
“I will,” Amy promised as she skipped up the stairs.
Kirsten followed until she reached her room. Closing the door on the ramblings of her sister with the video camera, she flopped on her bed with her journal and began to write.
Suddenly, her door burst open. Kirsten’s heart nearly burst from her chest.
“Smile!” Amy grinned from behind the viewer of the video camera.
“Go away!” Kirsten shouted, throwing a pillow at her. “And close the door behind you!”
For the rest of the day, Amy happily played movie director. Kirsten could hear her up on the third floor, telling the twins what to do. The boys were quite happy to goof around in front of the camera. They’d always been show-offs. Kirsten was thankful they were playing well away from her and not bugging her.
At supper, Amy chatted about all the great shots she’d got of the twins.
“Can we watch it after dinner?” she asked.
“Sure!” her mom said enthusiastically. “Maybe you’ll turn out to be a famous film-maker one day!”
Amy beamed at the thought. Kirsten just rolled her eyes. After all, how good could a nine year-old really be? The shots were probably all shaky and out of focus.
When they finished eating, Amy dragged Kirsten to the couch.
“You’ve gotta watch too!” Amy told her.
Kirsten slumped down into the soft cushions, folding her arms across her chest. Pulling her eyebrows together in her best frown, Kirsten displayed her refusal to enjoy the show. Their dad hooked up the cables and Amy pressed ‘play’ on the camera’s remote as the rest of the family settled themselves comfortably.
“When I gonna be on TV?” Jamie asked in his charming four year-old way.
“Soon,” Amy told him.
“Me too?” Jimmy asked.
“Yes, you too,” Amy laughed. “First we’ll see grumpy old Kirsten.”
Kirsten shot her an ‘if-looks-could-kill’ glare and stared at the TV.
The static cleared and Amy’s voice was heard through the speakers.
“Here’s where the beast lives,” Amy’s voice whispered as the camera panned the hallway of the second floor.
A door opened and there was a shot of Kirsten lying on her bed. Turning quickly, Kirsten growled at the camera. A pillow flashed past the view screen. As the camera kept rolling, a faint image appeared by the window.
“Hey!” Amy exclaimed. “There wasn’t anyone else there when I took the shot.”
The whole family peered at the TV, as the image remained. It was transparent, but they could make out the facial features of a boy about twelve years old. With wide eyes, he stared into the camera, terror painted on his face. Another shape appeared on the film, a tall imposing figure with pointed features and a thin black moustache. In his hand, he held a long-bladed knife.
The family watched in horrified fascination as the man approached the boy and the knife came down again and again…
Sorry for the cliff-hanger – NOT! Hope you enjoyed the chill. 🙂